The Airbus A321-200 is part of the family of Airbus A320 aircraft. This version differs from the A320 by its fuselage, extended by 6.9 meters, as well as by its bigger transport capacity. It also differentiates itself from other aircraft in the A320 family with its additional doors to improve evacuation procedures.
Any further elongation would make rotation maneuvers during takeoff dangerous, with an increased risk of damage to the rear fuselage. Accordingly, the manufacturer is now aiming to increase the aircraft’s capacity without any change in dimensions
The first Airbus A321-200, belonging to Monarch Airlines, had its first flight on December 12, 1996.
The cabin of this elongated A320 aircraft allows transport of 185 to 220 people, depending on whether it is configured entirely in economy class or whether it includes business class.
On June 12, 2014, Airbus introduced the A321neo, bringing its capacity to 240 passengers and offering thinner seats with a reduced size of 28 inches, optimized toilets and kitchens, and modified emergency doors and exits.
The fuel carrying capacity is the same on this version, however the maximum takeoff weight has been increased as well as its range. Because of the increase in fuel capacity, orders for the A321-200 have increased, whereas A319 orders have decreased. The preference of airlines for the A321 can also be explained by its passenger capacity, which is the best of the A320 family.
Since March 11, 2004 (and April 28, 2006, depending on the model), all Airbus 321s can undertake ETOPS-180 flights (i.e., they are able to fly to 90% of destinations).
To date, the A320 aircraft family, of which the A321-200 is the most sold model, is composed of the most economic aircraft for airlines. This is due to the ingenuity of the manufacturer, with its innovative “Community” concept that allows management of pilots and their training, maintenance, and the standardization of spare parts for all A320 aircraft (A318, A319, A201, A321 and their various respective models).